We know we’ve covered this before, but with all of the action we’re seeing in the tropics—the hurricane evacuation plans made & cancelled in Mount Pleasant, Charleston & the surrounding LowCountry, worries about storm surge, drinking water, power loss, gas…and of course fears for our friends in Texas, Florida & the Caribbean, AND let’s not forget an impending Hurricane Jose—we figured it would be a great time to revisit the topic of HOW TO REDUCE STRESS! 

Read on to get some great tips on how exercise can lower stress and help you navigate the ebbs and flows of this stress-filled tropical season!

How Does Exercise Reduce Stress?

According to Everyday Health, “Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. ‘When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that fight stress,” says Frank Lupin, MS, ATC, PES, a certified athletic trainer and a personal trainer for Coordinated Health in Bethlehem, Pa.” 

WebMD explains that while exercise DOES reduce stress, you don’t need to run a marathon to get that “runners high”: “All forms of exercise, including yoga and walking, can ease [anxiety] by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals and by giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress. You can go for a quick walk around the block, take the stairs up and down a few flights, or do some stretching exercises like head rolls and shoulder shrugs.”

Which Exercises are BEST for Reducing Stress?

Check out some great tropical storm-related-stress relieving tips as recommended by our favorite experts:

  1. Make it Personal.  Men’s Health says, “You can reduce stress even more—and make that reduction last longer—if you tailor your workout specifically to your personality type.”  The article goes on to describe “six distinct exercise personalities” that if you cater to, can help you maximize your time in the gym and work off that extra stress.  Click HERE for the full article. 
  2. Get Mindful.  The Mayo Clinic recommends “a mind-body practice”, one that incorporates movement and breathing together. “Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines that may help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind. This can help you relax and manage stress and anxiety.”  And just because a practice is mindful does not mean that it isn’t intense or physically difficult.  We recommend you check out Fitness Magazine’s great 20-minute “fast yoga-martial arts Budokon” workout (with instructional pictures!) by clicking HERE
  3. Let the Rhythm Move You. Active recommends incorporating exercises that have repetition and consistency to relieve stress.  “Some exercises, like running, cycling or lifting let you get into a rhythm.  That rhythmic flow of a repeating action relaxes your mind…this type of zoning out helps you relax and find your equilibrium after a stressful day.”
  4. Relax your Muscles. Harvard Medical School recommends Progressive Muscular Relaxation: “Stressed muscles are tight, tense muscles. By learning to relax your muscles, you will be able to use your body to dissipate stress.”  Click HERE for a guided practice that will help you relieve stress from your forehead to your feet.
  5. Hit the Pool.  Shape Magazine explains: “A Swedish study published in the International Journal of Stress Management found that floating in water triggers the body’s relaxation response, helping lower stress-hormone levels. Even better, nearly 80 percent of the subjects showed improvements such as feeling less tense and depressed.”

With all that in mind, we want to send our love out to our friends and families in all the wake of Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Harvey and the effected areas from Texas to Florida to the Caribbean!